Four Medical Educators and Professionals Honored at the 2023 Physician Alumni Weekend

Alumni models

Four medical educators, including three University of Missouri School of Medicine alumni, were honored during the medical school’s 66th annual Physicians Alumni Weekend. Each year, the University of Missouri Medical Alumni Organization annually recognizes alumni for their outstanding achievement, contributions to the field of medicine and their support of the School of Medicine.

The 2023 award winners are:

Karen Edison, MD ‘89
Karen Edison, MD ‘89

Karen Edison, MD ‘89, received the Citation of Merit Award, which is presented to alumni who have made significant contributions to the medical profession, and is considered the highest honor presented by the School of Medicine.

Edison retired from clinical practice in 2019 following a 30-year career as an academic dermatologist. She served as the School of Medicine’s Philip C. Anderson professor and chair of Dermatology. She has been a strong advocate for increasing access to health care via telemedicine. As the senior medical director of Show-Me ECHO, Edison also led an innovative videoconferencing effort that offers best-practice training to underserved Missouri communities, increasing the number of programs from only two to 40 since 2014.

Diane Lipscomb, MD ‘90
Diane Lipscomb, MD ‘90

Diane Lipscomb, MD ‘90, received the Distinguished Service Award, which is given to alumni who have distinguished themselves through medical service.

After earning her medical degree from MU, Lipscomb practiced pediatric critical care for 15 years and directed the Sunrise Children’s Hospital’s pediatric residency program for the University of Nevada for 12 years. She currently practices pediatric critical care medicine at Mercy Hospital in Springfield, Mo. where she served as the medical director from 2014 to 2021 and has served as the associate clerkship director for Child Health – Springfield Clinical Campus since 2015.

Laura Morris, MD ‘07
Laura Morris, MD ‘07

Laura Morris, MD ‘07, received the Outstanding Young Physician Award, which is presented to those medical professionals who have distinguished themselves early in their careers.

After graduating from the School of Medicine, Morris completed her family medicine training at MU before eventually serving as the division medical director of Obstetrics in Family Medicine from 2017 to 2023, and as the medical director the Rural Scholars Program from 2019 to 2023. She currently serves as the associate chief medical officer for Ambulatory Care at MU Health Care.

Dena Higbee, EdS, MS, CHSE
Dena Higbee, EdS, MS, CHSE

Dena Higbee, EdS, MS, CHSE, received the Honorary Medical Alumni Award, which is given to non-alumni who have demonstrated special interests in the MU School of Medicine and the Medical Alumni Organization.

Higbee has worked in medical education for more than 25 years and has brought national attention to the School of Medicine's medical simulation program as the executive director of simulation in the Russell D. and Mary B. Shelden Clinical Simulation Centers, the Miller Family

Simulation Center at the Sinclair School of Nursing and the College of Veterinary Medicine. She and her team educate more than 10,000 medical students annually from a variety disciplines.

In addition to recognizing award winners at the awards luncheon, more than 150 alumni attendees enjoyed hearing lectures from distinguished alumni and medical school faculty, an alumni panel discussion and Mini Med School. At the Medical Alumni Dinner, twelve graduating classes celebrated marquee reunions, including a recognition of the 50th reunion of the graduating class of 1973.

2023 Physician Alumni Weekend Gallery

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